I really like new things. I usually hold back on buying brand new things in order to optimize the thing I currently have. Right now, I have my eye on a Playstation 4, which would allow me to enhance my sloth nature, by playing repetitive video games. I have held off on buying it, because there are still quite a few games I would like to play on my current 6-year-old Playstation 3, which is mostly used for watching Netflix.
A “new” (well 6 years ago) monetary technology that I’ve become interested in is Bitcoin. Bitcoin interests my libertarian side – a decentralized currency that has nothing to do with central banks, and is run by everyone on the network, rather than being run by central banks and governments, who have caused quite a few problems over the past few decades. At the basic level, I appreciate the ease of transactions that Bitcoin allows – as more and more people and businesses accept the currency, it will be easier to carry out secure transfers, getting rid of the risk of theft.
Last month, I was alerted from my credit card company (PC Mastercard) that there was an open investigation on my card and it was being cancelled immediately. I questioned what had happened, but received no answers from my company. I usually don’t make that many “weird” purchases online, and would have preferred to know what company Mastercard had the issue with, so I wouldn’t deal with them again, but my bank was not very forthcoming with that information. Using bitcoin would limit my risk of fraud or misuse of my account information significantly (as long as my password was secure) – I would have much less to worry about when shopping online, beyond the normal scammy items that don’t match what you think you’re getting.
‘Bitcoin Guru’ Andreas Antonopoulos, besides appearing in front of Canadian Senators to answer questions about Bitcoin, was recently on the Joe Rogan Experience (One of my favourite podcasts). One use of Bitcoin that I found very interesting was as an actual currency in areas of the world where banks are almost unseen. These remote areas (according to the discussion held on the show) continue to expand cell phone coverage to various remote villages, which would allow people who are currently still bartering for goods to utilize an easy to use currency. Whether or not this kind of thing could happen remains to be seen, but the sentiment was interesting.
I’m kind of on the fence whether or not I want to put any money into Bitcoin, or any other digital currency. If I were to do so, it would be more to have some “skin in the game” of possible up and coming game-changing economic tool. One Bitcoin today is trading at around $300 CAD. I’m thinking of buying a couple of coins to see what happens over the next few years with the currency – call it a speculative investment. Such a small proportion of my total investments offers an opportunity cost to “real” investments, but also allows me to be somewhere around the ground floor on this new type of currency that most of the world hasn’t heard about yet.
Would you put money into something like this, even a fairly small amount?